Space Flight and Tourism

Robert Chapin
Rob sitting on the wall of the Zero G 727

Zero G Training in Las Vegas

In response to Jason’s article about SpaceX, I will give my view of the utility and future of private space flight.

First of all, I think it’s great that some of my classmates are aspiring to have careers in the private space flight industry.  This is a novel idea in the sense that there were no private companies or passengers more than a decade ago and NASA has only recently stopped flying its fleet of space shuttles.  In my parents’ generation there were some aspiring astronauts, but the chances of being selected for that opportunity were close to none.

For me, space tourism is something I can imagine within my lifetime.  Sure, the industry will need pilot/astronauts to command missions, and perhaps civilian pilots will be able to qualify for that future upgrade.  I just think it’s more likely that I will be a passenger tourist enjoying space flight as a rare luxury.  With terrestrial flying as my career, taking a trip out into space would be more like a vacation.

4 Nov 2012

On Assignment



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  • Jason says:

    Awesome! How was the Zero G training in Las Vegas?

    • Robert Chapin says:

      The Zero G experience is like the best roller coaster times twenty. I had a great time there. I also gained a deep appreciation for the sensation of losing kinesthetic and vestibular spatial orientation. Throughout the maneuvers it “feels” like the airplane is flying straight and level, which it is definitely not. I only had a sense of disorientation when I tried looking out a window. They kept all but two windows covered for passenger comfort. I spent most of the time getting used to really basic things like moving around, tumbling, and bumping into everything. They also let us play with water and M&Ms. 🙂

  • Joe Moore says:

    Interesting that you put “vacation” and ” (outer) space” into the same sentence. You do not often hear people talk about their trip to space and back for a vacation. Sounds exciting!

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